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For current weather updates: National Weather Service
For information on delays or cancellation of transportation services due to inclement weather, please visit:
Snow Removal Information
Resident cooperation can be very helpful to the efficient and timely removal of snow and ice and the restoration of safe travel in the City. Here’s what you should know and what you can do to improve operations:
- Snow Removal Policy
- Snow Emergency Routes
- Snow Emergency Routes Map
- Guide to Understanding Snow Removal Operations
- Snow Plowing Operations and Parked Vehicles
- Snow Removal Recreations and Parks Department
What is a Snow Emergency:
During significant storms, the City may declare a Snow Emergency Parking Ban which prohibits parking on streets marked ‘No Parking During Snow Emergency’. When a Snow Emergency is declared, information is made available on the City's homepage and snow center, on Social media. To receive notifications about snow emergencies via e-mail, text message, and/or phone announcement (for any landline or cell phone in the city or elsewhere), sign up for Code Red Every effort is made to give residents as much advance notice as possible of an impending snow emergency.
In accordance with City Code, chapter 99:
1. No vehicle shall park or otherwise remain standing upon any snow emergency route when there is present an accumulation of two or more inches of snow or ice for a period of one hour or more between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. of any day.
2. A declared snow emergency shall remain in effect until terminated by announcement of the Mayor.
3. No person shall park a vehicle or otherwise allow a vehicle to stand upon any portion of a snow emergency route. No person shall park a vehicle or otherwise allow a vehicle to stand upon any street in such a manner as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to vehicular or pedestrian traffic or to hamper and interfere with the work of removing or plowing snow or removal of ice.
4. Vehicles in violation of these restrictions may be ticketed and/or towed at owner expense.
5. The Maritime Garage on North Water Street and the Yankee Doodle Garage on Burnell Boulevard will be open without charge throughout the Snow Emergency. All other parking facilities need to be cleared out between 2am and 6am to allow for snow removal services to ensure that business customers can park. Residents are especially encouraged to utilize covered garages;
6. Users of public transportation are advised to check for possible changes to the system operation. Updates will be posted at the Norwalk Transit Web Site: www.norwalktransit.com.
Streets and Sidewalks
The City's Public Works Department will clear City streets and sidewalks as soon as possible. The department's goal is to chemically treat all major arteries within three hours of when snow begins, to keep main arteries plowed during all stages of a storm, and to clear all streets and the sidewalks bordering City property once a storm has stopped. Public Works clears over XX miles of sidewalk areas including those around schools, public buildings, parks and high volume bus stops. Priority areas to be cleared are those areas surrounding City buildings, major squares throughout the City, and sidewalks and pathways surrounding City parks.
When possible, Public Works crews will work to widen streets, increase sight lines at corners, and improve access for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Please remember to share the roadway, go slow, and use extra caution to be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Objects left in on-street parking spaces may be removed when crews are available after a snow event or when a snow emergency has been lifted as it is illegal to ‘reserve’ cleared parking spaces.
What can you do to help?
Please clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks. Please also help make streets and sidewalks accessible for all pedestrians during winter by removing snow and ice and reporting unshoveled or icy sidewalks. If you are able, please do your part to shovel out fire hydrants. Shovel an area around the hydrant and clear a path from the hydrant to the street. This simple act can make a significant difference for firefighters during a fire.
How soon do residents/businesses need to remove ice and snow from sidewalks? Ice needs to be removed within 6 hours from the time it forms, per City Ordinance. Snow needs to be removed within 12 hours after snow stops falling during the day and before 1pm if it snowed during the night, per City Ordinance.
The fine for failing to comply with the City’s sidewalk clearance ordinances is $50/day for each day of non-compliance. Even if you aren’t around, it is your responsibility to ensure someone clears sidewalks and ramps next to your property.
We all have a shared responsibility for keeping our community safe and accessible during winter weather. For you, your neighbors, people with strollers or using wheelchairs, and the many people in Norwalk who walk, please do your part.
What does a "cleared" sidewalk look like?
- Shovel your sidewalk and clear it of ice on all sides of your property, down to bare pavement.
- Make the path wide enough for someone using a wheelchair, walker or stroller (at least 3 feet wide).
- Clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks.
- Clear ramps at corners and crosswalks.
- Stock up on ice melter before a storm. Use ice melter with calcium chloride (CaCl2), which is the best choice for the environment and only a small amount is required to melt ice. Potassium chloride (KCl) is okay, too. Avoid rock salt (NaCl or sodium chloride), which kills plants and trees and is harmful to pets.
- Do not use sand. It doesn’t help pedestrians; but it makes hard ice more slippery. It gets into street drains and is expensive to clean up in the spring.
- Keep street drains clear of snow (to avoid ponding/ icing at the bottom of ramps)
- Consider helping neighbors who may have difficulty clearing their walk. Keeping sidewalks passable is the neighborly thing to do, and it’s the law.
Winter Storm Preparedness
Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. They can cause power outages that last for days, make roads and walkways very dangerous, and can affect community services. Planning and preparing can help you manage the impact of a winter storm and keep you and your family safe. A sustained power outage can have a significant impact on people who require electricity to power medical equipment, so make sure that you have a plan to take care of yourself and your family during an outage.
For Winter storm safety tips visit:
To help your children and teens prepare visit: Ready Kids
You don't know when the next emergency or disaster will occur, so take some time to make a plan of what you and your family will do during emergencies. Your family may not all be together when an emergency occurs, so you should sit down and create a Family Plan to keep you and your family safe.
- If you heat your dwelling with oil, check to make sure that you have enough home heating fuel to get through the storm.
- Make sure your heating equipment and/or fireplaces have been serviced by a professional.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Remember, if the smoke detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are current and operating properly.
- If you have medical conditions, make sure you have a supply of necessary medications.
- To be prepared for a possible power outage, stock up on batteries, flashlights, and canned goods and bottled water.
- If you see downed lines/wires, please report these directly to xxx . Power outages should be reported directly to your utility company.
- In case of a power outage, stock up on batteries, flashlights, and canned goods.
- Avoid using candles during any power outage.
- If power is lost, unplug all appliances except one lamp to prevent power surge damage.
- Keep refrigerators closed as much as possible and keep temperature at 45° or below. Food will stay fresh for between 36-48 hours in a full fridge; 24 hours in a half-filled one.
- Keep a battery-operated radio, extra medicine, blankets, and bottled water on hand.
- Report power outages to Eversource at 800-286-2000, SNEW at 203-866-3366 or Third Taxing District at 203- 663-6875
Home and business owners need to be aware of the danger posed by heavy snow and ice building on roofs. Flat and low pitched roofs are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations.
- Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available in most hardware stores).
- Start from the edge and work your way into the roof.
- Try to shave snow down to 2-3" instead of scraping the roof clean to reduce the risk of damage to your shingles/roof.
- Consider hiring professionals.
- Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add your weight to the roof when clearing now.
- Don’t use a ladder since ice tends to build up on both the rungs of the ladder and the soles of your boots.
- Don’t use blow torches, open-flames, or electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow and ice.
- Don’t try to remove ice or icicles from utility wires or meters. Call your utility company for assistance.
- Below are some general tips to help prevent and deal with frozen pipes:
- Keep heat at adequate levels or leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Check for open windows, air vents, and wind drafts near water pipes.
- Seal leaks in the basement foundation where cold air may enter. Stuff holes with insulation. A tiny opening may cause an exposed pipe to freeze.
- Locate the main water shut off valve in your home and mark it for quick identification. Learn how to turn it off, and educate others in your household. If a water pipe bursts, shutting your home’s main valve quickly will minimize flooding and property damage.
- Leave kitchen/sink cabinet doors open if pipes are subject to freezing. This will allow heat to reach the pipes.
- Don’t use an open flame to thaw pipes. If your pipes do freeze, use a hair dryer or rags soaked in hot water to thaw lines.
- Insulate pipes in unheated spaces like garages, basements, and crawl spaces. This will help prevent frozen pipes, avoiding property damage and the costs of repairs. Additionally, insulating hot water pipes will decrease your wait time for warm water.
- Protect your water meter from icy drafts and freezing temperatures. Most frozen meters are caused by drafts from an open basement door or window. Double check your property for drafts as the cold weather sets in.
Home heating safety
- Heating is a leading cause of home fires. Use your home heating system and space heating appliances responsibly to keep warm and keep safe.
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- NEVER use your oven for heat.
- NEVER bring charcoal or gas grills indoors (they are a carbon monoxide hazard).
- Liquid or gas-fired portable space heaters are illegal in Massachusetts.
- Use electric space heaters with extreme care; avoid placing them near curtains or other flammable materials and turn them off before going to bed.
- Make sure all portable heat-producing appliances are unplugged when not in use (irons, hair devices, etc.).
- NEVER leave candles unattended.
- Keep dryer vents clear of snow and ice.
- If gas and oil appliances and heating systems are not installed correctly, working well, or cleaned and serviced regularly, they can be sources of Carbon Monoxide exposure. Winter is a particularly dangerous time for CO poisoning.
Snow blower safety
- Each year, thousands of people suffer serious injuries to their hands, fingers, and backs due to the improper handling of snowblowers. Injuries typically occur when the snow is heavy, wet or has accumulated several inches. Below are some basic safety tips to keep you and others from being injured:
- Avoid wearing loose clothing.
- Wear sturdy footwear with good traction.
- Always start your snow blower in a well-ventilated area to avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you haven’t used your snow blower in a while, remember that gasoline may still be inside from the last time you used it. Gasoline is only good for about 30 days, unless you’ve added a fuel stabilizer.
- Always make sure that the snow blower is completely turned off before replacing any parts.
- Fix clogs carefully. If your snow blower becomes clogged, turn it off, and remove the key before trying to clear it. Use a stick and NOT your hands to clear debris.
- If your snow blower hasn’t been checked up by a professional in a while, have it serviced before you use it.
Residents who feel they have a legitimate concern or complaint, such as an unshoveled sidewalk or bus stop should call the Customer Service Center at 854-3200.